AOKO OTIENO: Forget COVID-19, Kenyan men are slowly dying from mouthy women

Men do it. They do it in the car; they do it after dinner. They do it in bed and heck, they unleash it even when you are talking about the kids’ school fees. I’m talking about going silent, gotcha!!

Men in relationships, especially marriage, live by one core philosophy- lips tightly fastened gathers no regrets. One of the first things that men quickly learn when they start coupling is to talk less and listen more.

Experience also teaches blokes that the dreaded ‘we need to talk,’ is not unleashed when she wants to talk about trying a new sex style or what to do with the plot of land you jointly bought; those words means she wants to rant, put you on the dock where she will be the prosecutor and jury and the quickest thing to do is get an alibi.

Okay, so he did not reply your message promptly and ‘Njoro Mechanic’ texted him goodnight, is that reason enough to unleash a show-cause letter on the poor guy demanding openhearted confession with full disclosure and wonder why all you will get is a studious silence with his lips firmly tucked behind the iron curtain of nil by mouth?

Listen up ladies, men and women communicate differently but it is not that men do not like to talk. They just do not like to talk about some things. Especially things that make them feel uncomfortable and out of control. And yes, they care just as much as women, but they try to wrestle with their problems, looking for an answer or a thing they can do to fix it. They don’t understand why women talk and talk about it but never make it better. They just have a different mindset. If there isn’t a solution yet, talking makes them feel helpless, and men don’t like that.

Men are plain speakers and often prefer action-oriented communication for they speak louder than words. Heck, Troy was invaded just to show love for a woman. He might not voice the word love but gives you money for chama, lets you watch Zee world as he watches the match on his phone, has no phone passwords and takes Junior to school every day- he does this to show respect, loyalty and indeed, love.  But what the woman is really asking for, is a series of trivial bull shit like flowers, being put on WhatsApp status and other petty sweet nothings.

Silence is a man’s harbour, the cave, where he resorts to when he needs to recollect in preparation of the hurricane of words that he must face with a straight face. When the gods curse a man with a wife who has a sword for a tongue, a woman who opens the floodgates every time he steps through his own door home, he embraces deflection.

Besides, women are fake. They want the truth, yet they cannot handle the truth. Men have comprehended and made peace with the fact that truth rarely sets one free and honesty is overrated. Women are known to use the words of a man as arsenal. Who needs to be reminded of those total recall episodes that famously begin with the words, ‘I will never forget the day you said…”

Ladies, stop nagging and communicate. There is no medal for being a champion of the verbal sport. Go slow on the unsolicited advice, incessant reminders, and panicky warnings regarding everything.

If you’ve repeatedly asked for help with the laundry or taking out the garbage and the message doesn’t seem to be sinking in, there’s a reason. No one likes to be bossed. It’s all in the wording, Don’t use commanding words. So instead of “You promised to take out the garbage!” try “Honey, how about you help me with this?”

Relax your standards, or suck it up and do things yourself. But if you want to try to get him to meet you in the middle, don’t suggest it when you’re upset.

Silence is a safe place for men. If silence will save him from vulnerability, emasculation, loss of power and status then he will gladly keep a lid on.